Former SS Guard "Ashamed" Of Serving In Nazi Death Camp
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Former SS Guard "Ashamed" Of Serving In Nazi Death Camp

A former SS guard has told a German court he is "ashamed" that he served in the Nazis' Auschwitz death camp. 94-year-old Reinhold Hanning...

Former SS Guard "Ashamed" Of Serving In Nazi Death Camp
A former SS guard has told a German court he is "ashamed" that he served in the Nazis' Auschwitz death camp.
 
94-year-old Reinhold Hanning, who is accused of being an accessory to the murder of at least 170,000 people, said he knew what was going on but did nothing to stop it.
 
He told the Detmold state court that he had never talked about his service in Auschwitz, even to family, but wanted to use his trial as an opportunity to apologise.
 
Mr Hanning, who served at the camp between January 1942 and June 1944, said: 
"I want to say that it disturbs me deeply that I was part of such a criminal organisation. I am ashamed that I saw injustice and never did anything about it and I apologise for my actions. I am very, very sorry."
Hundreds of thousands of Hungarian Jews were murdered during his time there.
 
Prosecutors say he met Jewish prisoners as they arrived at the camp and may have escorted some to the gas chambers.
 
Until five year ago, evidence that defendants were directly involved in the killings at the death camps was required in order to convict them.
 
However, in 2011 a judge concluded that the activities of a camp worker, John Demjanjuk, in Nazi-occupied Poland amounted to complicity in mass murder.
 
In 2015, 94-year-old Oskar Groening was sentenced to four years in jail for his part in the murders of at least 300,000 people.
 
The Nazis killed about 1.1 million people, most of them Jews, at Auschwitz in occupied Poland.
 
 
Cover Image: The main gate at the former German Nazi death camp of Auschwitz II. Picture: Michel Zacharz